June 26, 2000
This story was written by Stella Shepard, from Morell, Prince Edward Island. She is a student at Morell Learning Centre. Stella is a mature student, living in Morell. She has overcome a great deal of self-doubt to get to this point - we're very proud of her. She is an example of a person who has learned HOW to learn and a great proponent of Adult Education.
When I first entered the Montague Learning Centre a few years ago, little did I know the impact it would have on my future. I stepped into the classroom on a chilly autumn morning eager but nervous. It had been years since I had been a full-time student. But there I was, standing in the doorway asking a teacher, "Where do I sit?"
My caseworker job with Big Brothers-Big Sisters of PEI had come to an unexpected end through no fault of my own. I was unemployed for the first time in years, and I missed working. Unable to find a job after months of searching, I decided to enter the Holland College Preparatory program. One door had closed; another door had opened.
It proved to be the right choice. The support of staff and fellow students marked the year a success. I encountered adult students with different backgrounds, but with similar goals; to achieve a higher education and career choice.
The instructors were the absolute best, they often went the extra mile. Many a cold morning, the aroma of Irene Sandersons (learning instructor) hot biscuits and coffee greeted students and staff. At the college preparatory program, I discovered a passion for writing. The following fall I entered the Journalism program at Holland College, Charlottetown. After my first year at Holland College, I found employment at the Eastern Graphic in Montague. I soon discovered a love for interviewing people and photography.
I strive to become a respected writer; therefore, in 1999 I enrolled with the Morell Learning Centre ABE program. The staff tailored a one-on-one program that fitted my needs and schedule. The learning instructors encouraged me to write and write I did. Stories that were locked up in my head became print on paper. I was amazed that enjoyed reading my "simple" stories. It was fuel to continue and enter them in writing competitions. One story in particular is being considered for The Chicken Soup for The Parents Soul book. I can't take the full credit for this accomplishment, because it would not have been possible if not for the Morell Learning Centre ABE instructor. This June I'll be graduating from the Journalism Program and with certificate in hand I will be knocking on doors to find employment in my new field.
I dream of writing and publishing children's literature ...someday. The Montague and Morell Learning Centers were the building blocks to meaningful, long-term employment. Without the college preparatory experience, I would have lost out in meeting many wonderful and caring people and the opportunity for personal and professional growth. A toast to the staff and students. May the doors of the Learning Centre remain open forever and a day!